Saturday 4 August 2001 Igoumenitsa (Greece) - Kesan (Turkey) The longest day... After a restorative night on board the Superfast, the 37 cars and 27 motorcycles still in the race disembarked this morning at about 6 am in Igoumenitsa, a famous...
Saturday 4 August 2001
Igoumenitsa (Greece) - Kesan (Turkey)
The longest day...
After a restorative night on board the Superfast, the 37 cars and 27 motorcycles still in the race disembarked this morning at about 6 am in Igoumenitsa, a famous Greek port. After 131 km of road section, the 1st 97 km long SS of the day began in Frangades and led the drivers to Krania. But at the start of the special there were only 34 cars left! The day before heavily punished several teams including 231 Raynal and Panis who had somersaulted several times without gravity, but fatal for the mechanics, the 209 Magnaldi/Borsotto withdrew due to the fact that they had been towed in the SS3, the 238 Lamige/Duboureau did not take the start due to a broken turbo during the road section, and lastly Eric Vigouroux and Marcel Micquiaux the unlucky N°210, having suffered the recurrence of a steering failure which caused them to miss the departure of the 1st boat, were obliged to take the following connection which made them a little too late to clock in on time this morning... A meeting of the Panel of Stewards will give a ruling on this problem some time in the evening in Kesan.
N° 223 Billaud/Gauthier having been towed to PC2 in the 1st SS of the day due to a broken cooling pulley was therefore out of the race in Salonica. The Wambergue/Cottret team N°207 with the 5th best time in the SS, once again proved their determination to give a good performance on this Master, the narrow tracks of the day not helping them much!
As for Jutta Kleinschmidt, she compared this special, notwithstanding that it was superb, to a leg in the Andros Trophy, as her tyres were so worn out at the finish; the slipperiness prevented her from driving at top speed like her rival J-L Schlesser who said he was very pleased to have driven on this splendid portion of the special; a sight that was appreciated by all the drivers according to the echoes overheard in the regrouping parc in Salonica!
Regarding motorcycles, Brucy, the well known French motorcyclist who is racing on KTM N°4, fell at km 45 in the SS without gravity; once back on the saddle he completed the special and reached Salonica without any further mishap.
The performance goes to Giovanni Sala who today signs his 3rd consecutive scratch, which pushes him up to the 2nd place in the provisional overall rating in Kesan this evening. But the outstanding happening of the day was the cancellation of the 2nd SS of the leg, the SS5; as usual René Metge took safety into consideration above all. Indeed the delay due to the course of the extremely sinuous road section, and the record crowds in this holiday month on the Greek roads, forced the competitors to take much more time than expected to reach the departure of the 1st SS. The upsetting of the timing of the day therefore made the night-time arrival too late in Kesan.
On the programme tomorrow...
From Kesan to Inonu, with 2 SS on the programme (a total of almost 250 km), the leg will be difficult particularly as the night will have been short. The Ferry over the Dardannelles will be the attraction of the day at the very beginning of the leg, the rest is familiar to those who experienced the 2000 version Master.